Leading security expert Secure Your World, CEO, Scott Cairns tells Dave the mobile phone bans due to come into effect this month in some states could lead to significant phone theft issues in schools.

“New laws that kick in from January 2020in some states  requiring kids to keep their phones out of classrooms and in lockers during school hours are going to create a wave of phone theft issues for schools

“Kids will be able to take their phones to school and use them before and after class, but in many cases will need to place them in lockers during class.

“Unfortunately, many school lockers are secured with cheap low quality padlocks that are easy to break into.

“While kids are in class, unless schools have high levels of security including surveillance cameras, I think we are going to see a lot of lockers being targetted and broken into.

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“Most kids use expensive mobile phones these days that cost $1,000 upwards. Phones are highly valuable pieces of technology and can easily be wiped, reset and sold on.”

The mobile phone ban is being implemented in a number of states from term one this year with the goal of helping kids to remove distractions and focus more intently on learning.

New South Wales currently allows state secondary schools to opt in to the ban. Victoria starts its ban from January in all state primary and secondary schools. Phones must be placed in lockers from the first bell until the end of the day. The only exception to the ban will be where students use phones to monitor health conditions or where teachers instruct students to bring their phone for a particular classroom activity.

Western Australia starts its ban from January in state schools from kindergarten to year 12. The ban also includes restricting the use of smartwatches, tablets and headphones. The only exception will be unless instructed otherwise by a teacher for a classroom activity.

Kindergarten to year six students must not have phones in their possession during the entire school day. Years seven – 12 must have their phones turned off and out of sight.

The ban starts the moment students arrive at school until the end of the day including breaks.

Tasmania starts its ban from term two this year for all state primary and secondary schools however,  students in years 11 and 12 will be given greater flexibility in when they can use their phones. Phones must be off and away all day with many understanding this to mean phones must be stored in lockers.  

Similar to Victoria, the only exception to the ban will be where students use phones to monitor health conditions or where teachers instruct students to bring their phone for a particular classroom activity.

Queensland, the Northern Territory and the ACT have no plans to roll out a state school mobile phone ban at this stage.

“With so much expensive highly sought after technology sitting in lockers, it is really important that parents ensure their child’s locker is theft proof,” Cairns added.

“There are essentially three categories of padlocks you can choose from. The circular dial combination padlock, digit combination padlocks and smart padlocks.

“My advice is don’t go for the cheap dollar store padlocks, you’ll need something that is tamper-proof and will last the school year!

“If you’ve been told by your school to get the classic circular dial combination padlock. Brands such as Master Lock and Abus are good quality. These padlocks have a solid shackle made of hardened steel, making them perfect for any environment, indoors or out.

“If turning the dial doesn’t work for you, and you still need to stick to a traditional mechanical padlock, the digital combination padlock is probably ideal. This style of padlock is still sturdy and great for the harsh Australian weather. Choose any code that works for you and off you go!

“If mechanical padlocks aren’t your ‘thing’ or you have the freedom to pick any type, then you need to consider an Igloohome Smart Padlock. Simply sync the lock to the app to activate and you can manage easily by creating a customised or system generated four to six digit code. Once, it’s set up, that’s it, your child can now easily get in and out of their locker.

“The benefit of the Smart Padlock is that you can also create further accesses to the lock, say for a teacher or a parent, by simply creating a one time PIN via the app and all you have to do is provide via text or email.

“There is now increasing pressure on governments to ensure there is sufficient camera and physical surveillance in place to provide minimum levels of security and protection for phone assets.”

Secure Your World is Australia’s first online marketplace dedicated to all things security.   It provides a broad range of products and services across Australia helping people to feel safe and secure at home, work, at school, in the car and outside.  Secure Your World offers the largest range of padlocks for school lockers and they can be purchased online and delivered quickly to your door.